Friday, October 30, 2009

Prayer of the Day

The Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace! the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.


Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Rom 9:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie;
my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness
that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ
for the sake of my own people,
my kindred according to the flesh.
They are children of Israel;
theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants,
the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;
theirs the patriarchs, and from them,
according to the flesh, is the Christ,
who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.

R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!

R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.

R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Lk 14:1-6

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.
In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy.
Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking,
“Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?”
But they kept silent; so he took the man and,
after he had healed him, dismissed him.
Then he said to them
“Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern,
would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?”
But they were unable to answer his question.

Saint of the Day

October 30

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez (c. 1533-1617)

Tragedy and challenge beset today’s saint early in life, but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer.

Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23. Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter and mother died; meanwhile, business was poor. Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life. He sold the business and, with his young son, moved into his sisters’ home. There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation.

Years later, at the death of his son, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits. He was not helped by his poor education. He applied twice before being admitted. For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits’ college in Majorca. When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations.

His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including St. Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian. Alphonsus’s life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum, but he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his poems.

Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.

Office of Readings

O Lord, open my lips.
– And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Antiphon: The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.

(repeat antiphon*)

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

(repeat antiphon*)

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

(repeat antiphon*)

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

(repeat antiphon*)

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


(repeat antiphon*)

The plea of a sinner in great peril
Psalm 37 (38)

Lord, do not ruin me in your anger.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath,
do not ruin me in your anger:
for I am pierced by your arrows
and crushed beneath your hand.
In the face of your anger
there is no health in my body.
There is no peace for my bones,
no rest from my sins.
My transgressions rise higher than my head:
a heavy burden, they weigh me down.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


Lord, do not ruin me in your anger.
Psalm 37 (38)

Lord, all that I desire is known to you.
My wounds are corruption and decay
because of my foolishness.
I am bowed down and bent,
bent under grief all day long.
For a fire burns up my loins,
and there is no health in my body.
I am afflicted, utterly cast down,
I cry out from the sadness of my heart.
Lord, all that I desire is known to you;
my sighs are not hidden from you.
My heart grows weak, my strength leaves me,
and the light of my eyes – even that has gone.
My friends and my neighbours
keep far from my wounds.
Those closest to me keep far away,
while those who would kill me set traps,
those who would harm me make their plots:
they plan mischief all through the day.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


Lord, all that I desire is known to you.
Psalm 37 (38)

I shall proclaim my wrongdoing. Do not abandon me, Lord, my saviour.
But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
like one who is dumb, I do not open my mouth.
I am like someone who cannot hear,
in whose mouth there is no reply.
For in you, Lord, I put my trust:
you will listen to me, Lord, my God.
For I have said, “Let them never triumph over me:
if my feet stumble, they will gloat.”
For I am ready to fall:
my suffering is before me always.
For I shall proclaim my wrongdoing:
I am anxious because of my sins.
All the time my enemies live and grow stronger;
they are so many, those who hate me without cause.
Returning evil for good they dragged me down,
because I followed the way of goodness.
Do not abandon me, Lord:
my God, do not leave me.
Hurry to my aid,
O Lord, my saviour.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


I shall proclaim my wrongdoing. Do not abandon me, Lord, my saviour.
My eyes are weary with longing for your salvation
– and for your words of justice.

Reading Wisdom 8:1-21

Wisdom deploys her strength from one end of the earth to the other,
ordering all things for good.
She it was I loved and searched for from my youth;
I resolved to have her as my bride,
I fell in love with her beauty.
Her closeness to God lends lustre to her noble birth,
since the Lord of All has loved her.
Yes, she is an initiate in the mysteries of God’s knowledge,
making choice of the works he is to do.
If in this life wealth be a desirable possession,
what is more wealthy than Wisdom whose work is everywhere?
Or if it be the intellect that is at work,
where is there a greater than Wisdom, designer of all?
Or if it be virtue you love,
why, virtues are the fruit of her labours,
since it is she who teaches temperance and prudence,
justice and fortitude;
nothing in life is more serviceable to men than these.
Or if you are eager for wide experience,
she knows the past, she forecasts the future;
she knows how to turn maxims, and solve riddles;
she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders,
of the unfolding of the ages and the times.
I therefore determined to take her to share my life,
knowing she would be my counsellor in prosperity,
my comfort in cares and sorrow.
Through her, I thought, I shall be acclaimed where people gather
and honoured, while still a youth, among the elders.
I shall be reckoned shrewd when I sit in judgement,
in presence of the great I shall be admired.
They will wait on my silences,
and pay attention when I speak;
if I speak at some length, they will lay their hand on their lips.
By means of her, immortality shall be mine,
I shall leave an everlasting memory to my successors.
I shall govern peoples and nations will be subject to me;
at the sound of my name fearsome despots will be afraid;
I shall show myself kind to my people and valiant in battle.
When I go home I shall take my ease with her,
for nothing is bitter in her company,
when life is shared with her there is no pain,
gladness only, and joy.
Inwardly revolving these thoughts,
and considering in my heart
that immortality is found in being kin to Wisdom
pure contentment in her friendship,
inexhaustible riches in what she does,
intelligence in the cultivation of her society,
and renown in the fellowship of her conversation,
I went in all directions seeking by what means I might make her mine.
I was a boy of happy disposition,
I had received a good soul as my lot,
or rather, being good, I had entered an undefiled body;
but knowing I could not master Wisdom but by the gift of God – a mark itself of understanding, to know whose the bounty was – I turned to the Lord.

Reading A tractate by St Baldwin of Canterbury
The word of God is alive and active

The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely. These words tell us how much power and wisdom there is in the word of God for those who seek Christ, who is the word and the power and the wisdom of God. This word, with the Father from the beginning and co-eternal with him, came at its own chosen time, was revealed to them, was proclaimed by them, and was humbly received in faith by its believers. A word, therefore, in the Father; a word in the mouth; and a word in the heart.

This word of God is alive. The Father gave it life coming from itself just as the Father’s own life comes from himself. The word is not just alive, therefore, it is life, as it said itself: I am the way, the truth, and the life. Since the word is life, the word is alive to give life. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses. He gives life, as when he calls the dead man out of the tomb, saying Lazarus, come forth.

When this word is preached, the voice of its preaching which is heard outwardly calls forth a voice of power that is heard inwardly, that voice by which the dead are restored to life and their praise raises up sons for Abraham. So this word is alive in the heart of the Father, alive in the mouth of the preacher, and alive in the hearts of those who believe and love. If a word is alive in this way, how can it not also be active?

The word is active in creating, active in guiding the world, active in redeeming the world. What could be more active? What could be more powerful? Who shall tell of his powerful deeds? Who shall proclaim the praises of the Lord? It is active when it works, it is active when it is preached. For it does not come back empty-handed: wherever it is sent, it prospers.

It is active and cuts finer than a double-edged sword when it is believed and loved. For what is impossible to the believer? What is hard for the lover? When this word speaks, its words transfix the heart like a flight of sharp arrows, like nails hammered deep into its very essence. This word is sharper than a double-edged sword in that it cuts deeper than any strength or power, it is finer than anything made by human ingenuity, sharper than any human wisdom or learned speech.

Concluding Prayer

Almighty and ever-living God, give us more faith, more hope, and more love.
Make us love what you have taught,
so that we are worthy to receive what you have promised.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.